UPDATE: GameStop has issued a statement regarding the price increase, stating that the company's objective is to "create a stronger benefit that appeals broadly to all PowerUp Rewards members, including those that buy digital, collectibles, or choose to buy only new products." The statement continues, "We recognize that there are gamers of all types that shop at GameStop and we want to give them the opportunity to choose how they want to be rewarded." The beta for the price increase will begin on June 2nd in 74 stores. The original story continues below:
GameStop has had a rough time as of late, with it losing more than $600 million dollars last year. However, the company is trying to adapt its business model to a shifting market, though the changes it's making may prove to be unpopular with its customers.
GameStop will be raising the cost of its Pro Membership program from $14.99 to $19.99, a move that will certainly upset many of the company's remaining customers. The 10% discount on used games is also being discontinued, with the company instead opting to give consumers a $5 reward certificate every month. However, the certificate will also expire every month, meaning customers will have to shop there at least once a month to take full advantage of the program. This does mean that frequent shoppers could save up to $40 after the initial cost of the membership, but that may not be enough for customers that had saved more than that through earlier versions of the program. The new version is currently in beta, with no official roll-out date.
From a business perspective, it makes sense for GameStop, so long as the program's renewal rate doesn't nosedive. Google Stadia seems primed to revolutionize digital gaming, and Sony and Microsoft recently announced their own game streaming partnership that will likely rock the foundation of the games industry. Physical games are GameStop's bread and butter, and, unfortunately, the days of physical games are numbered.
GameStop's dire situation is common knowledge at this point, and that's been reflected in the company's plummeting stocks. Five years ago, the company was valued at about $38 dollars per share. Now, the company struggles to remain at the $8 mark. There were rumors of a potential buyout circulating earlier this year, but GameStop has since terminated its efforts to find a buyer. It seems pretty likely that GameStop will go the way of Toys R Us, though it's always possible that the company is able to make a comeback.